Tara and Jeff
TARA AND JEFF
Tara (Hotzel) Burton, 29, is a native of Dodge City, Kansas. After graduation form Missouri Western State University in 2011, she settled into a condo in the heart of downtown Kansas City. Tara enjoys stating active at CrossFit, traveling, her Yorkshire terrier, Rauxie, and her new groom.
Jeff Burton, 29, also a graduate of Missouri Western State University, grew up in Easton, Missouri. A die-hard Kansas City Chiefs fan, Jeff loves to spend his Sundays at Arrowhead Stadium with his dad.
Tara and Jeff met during the senior year at Missouri Western State University. "We were both enrolled in at elective environmental management course," Tara remembers. "Dr. Krueger was our favorite professor and we were paired up the very first day to work on the initial project together. There were lots of late night study sessions in the library, and then the rest was history!"
For months, Tara and Jeff had planned a trip to the Burton's lake house over Memorial Day Weekend. "We included his parents as well as mine and my brother," Tara smiles. "But Jeff is so spontaneous! Thursday morning, the day before we were leaving, he woke up and had great plans in store for a proposal. He drove straight to my dad's office, a bottle of Jack Daniels in tow, and asked the most important man in my life for my hand in marriage. In true fashion of my father, he answered, "Seriously? Yes! It's about time, Jeff!" Jeff headed straight to the jeweler, a family friend, and my ideal ring was there, just waiting to be boxed up. I'm not sure how he kept still for two more days. Cocktails in hand, we were all sitting on the dock Saturday afternoon, soaking in the sun. It happened. With my whole family as witnesses, Jeff got down on one knee and simply asked me "to be his wife"! Just like that, as simple and sweet as could be."
The blissful couple tied the knot on June 4, 2016. Attending as Maid of Honor was Amber
Lehmer; bridesmaids were Allison Hotze!, Tamir Bachuluun, Hollianna Chambers, Lauren Ginestra, Karla Martinez, Abby McCavitt and Deena Zimmerman. Michael Burton served as Best Man; groomsmen were Aaron Hotzel, Michael Ginestra, Nathan Lehmer, Tyler Leonard, Justin Summy and Rob Zimmerman.
"Our wedding ceremony and reception were held at an antique barn in a small town just north of Kansas City" Tara shares. "We included country simplicity in our ceremony and I loved that my bridesmaids walked with small bouquets of wheat. We included my grandmother as my flower girl and my grandfather as the ring bearer and our guests really enjoyed witnessing the generational love!
"With guests seated on hay bales and the backdrop of the blue sky and cornfield, we said our vows on a picture-perfect afternoon. The interior of the antique barn was transformed, and as the country band warmed up, we kicked off the night by toasting our friends and family with a shot of Fireball!" Guests danced into the night, and those who had camped in the field next to the barn woke up the next morning to send the couple off on their honeymoon in Bora Bora!